Florida Secretary of Agriculture Nikki Fried is an odd duck in state politics. She’s the only Democrat left standing after the 2018 elections in the state, but she’s also the person holding the office responsible for issuing concealed carry permits. Fried isn’t a fan of concealed carry, for the most part, and seems to follow her party’s lead when it comes to guns.
That’s why no one should have been surprised that Fried wants to change the concealed carry laws in the state.
For gun rights advocates throughout the nation, it’s not difficult to see what Fried is doing. It’s also clear to people right there in the state.
Roger Henderson, the news director at WBOB in Jacksonville, said callers view Fried’s proposal as more gun control.
Henderson said many of the callers who claimed to have a concealed weapons license insist they already know how to handle their weapons when they go out on the gun range.
“If I already am trained how to handle my weapon, why do I need to be retrained?” a caller asked Henderson.
Valid points all.
However, Henderson suggests there’s one group of people willing to applaud the move.
Henderson said there were some gun instructors who applauded Fried’s call for some gun retraining.
Under the current law, a Florida concealed weapons permit holder must pass a course to be certified.
Fried proposes to require people to undergo that training each time they renew their carry permit. That means more money not just for the state, but also for firearm instructors who make good money offering concealed carry classes.
Of course, Henderson doesn’t offer any names, so it’s entirely possible that there really aren’t that many instructors who are looking at it that way. Frankly, any who do are guilty of rent-seeking behavior. For those unfamiliar with the term, it basically means anyone who proposes or backs legislation solely because it will help enrich them.
I’m not a fan of that kind of behavior in the least.
Frankly, I’m not a fan of requiring training for someone to exercise a constitutionally-protected right in the first place, which is something Florida should seriously consider. Of course, I have little doubt that Fried would oppose such a change to state law, which is something of an endorsement all on its own.
Fried’s proposal is, as Cam said in the first piece linked, that this is a money grab. He’s probably right, but I don’t think that’s all this is. Fried wants to make it a pain to get and keep a concealed carry permit. Requiring training will increase the difficulty and overall expense for the average citizen to carry a firearm, thus making it more likely that fewer will renew.
Her overall goal is to reduce the number of Floridians carrying a firearm.
The saving grace is that it has to go through the state’s legislature, which isn’t likely to give Fried what she wants on this. Floridians should be safe, at least for now. We’ll have to keep an eye on this, though, because she will try again.